Rotten fruit is making wasps drunk and angrier

Illustration for article titled Rotten fruit is making wasps drunk and angrier
Photo: TT (iStock)

After an early wasp season in England this year due to changing weather patterns, the flying, stinging insects are on the rampage. According to, “Experts have given a warning about ‘boozy wasps’, who are getting drunk on fermented fruit because their normal food source has dried up—and are attacking everything they can.”


As the hive queens have stopped producing larvae earlier than usual, “which produce a sugar-spit that adult wasps rely on,” a plethora of wasps is now on the hunt for sugary food at the height of summer. As they find rotting, fermented fruit, or even almost-empty glasses of cider and beer at outdoor pubs, the wasps are getting drunk, which just makes them angrier and more likely to sting. Just like us when we’re drunk.

Shane Jones, who runs Ridtek Pest Control based in Basingstoke, explains to Metro: “Wasps have built absolutely massive nests and, now that all the larvae have grown up and the queen has stopped laying eggs, the colonies have a workforce with nothing to do—and nothing to eat… So they go down to the pub, obviously. Wasps can’t handle their booze, so they get tanked-up and fighty—like lager louts.”

We’d much prefer it if the wasps fought amongst themselves, like any bunch of drunken bros at the tavern. But a pack of drunk angry wasps ready to sting sounds straight-up terrifying.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.


more likely to sting

is that even possible? Their threshold is pretty darn low as it is...